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  • Russian Army?

    Given that over half the Soviet population was not Russian, is it accurate to refer to this as the Russian Army?

  • #2
    Originally posted by RayBell View Post
    Given that over half the Soviet population was not Russian, is it accurate to refer to this as the Russian Army?
    No , it's not. But for many people Russia = Soviet Union , Soviet Army is often called Russian Army.
    There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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    • #3
      Originally posted by RayBell View Post
      Given that over half the Soviet population was not Russian, is it accurate to refer to this as the Russian Army?
      The ethnic Russian population was around 60% of the country's total by the beginning of the war. However, it's clearly wrong to refer to the Red Army as the "Russian" army. The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army (RKKA), formed in 1918, was renamed into the Soviet Army in 1946.

      On the other hand, considering that anybody from Czechs to Mongols is considered "Russian" in the West by the standard criteria "umm, he's not black and he's sort of from over there where evil Commies live", maybe it's not such a big error after all
      www.histours.ru

      Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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      • #4
        Either RKKA or Red Army would be resonablly accurate as English language shorthand or slang. I've always considered "Russian" Army for this era to be grossly misinformed.

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        • #5
          I am a little bit rabid on this point. Whenever I open a new book that presents itself as a military history of the War in the East and they refer to the 'Russian Army', I close the book: that tells me that the author has no idea WTF he's talking about, unless it's a wartime German memoir, where I don't expect the author to know or have learned much about his opponents.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sharposhnikov View Post
            ... unless it's a wartime German memoir, where I don't expect the author to know or have learned much about his opponents.
            Which says a good deal about why they lost.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Ibis View Post
              Which says a good deal about why they lost.
              Lol, true.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ShAA View Post
                On the other hand, considering that anybody from Czechs to Mongols is considered "Russian" in the West by the standard criteria "umm, he's not black and he's sort of from over there where evil Commies live", maybe it's not such a big error after all
                Oh the irony.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sharposhnikov View Post
                  I am a little bit rabid on this point. Whenever I open a new book that presents itself as a military history of the War in the East and they refer to the 'Russian Army', I close the book: that tells me that the author has no idea WTF he's talking about, unless it's a wartime German memoir, where I don't expect the author to know or have learned much about his opponents.
                  My dear Sharposhnikov, the German general staff took the last known census figures from the USSR, then extrapolated to the present to calculate the number of divisions the USSR could field. They did this AFTER Barbarossa. German knowledge of the USSR was 50% racial prejudice and 50% contempt, doesn't leave much for anything else.
                  Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
                  Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
                  USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                    My dear Sharposhnikov, the German general staff took the last known census figures from the USSR, then extrapolated to the present to calculate the number of divisions the USSR could field. They did this AFTER Barbarossa. German knowledge of the USSR was 50% racial prejudice and 50% contempt, doesn't leave much for anything else.
                    Oh, yes, having read extensively from both the German wartime documents in the US National Archives and the post-war German memoirs, I'm well aware of the German attitude and its consequences. Among other consequences, their entire plan for the war against the Soviet Union was to attack, destroy the Red Army west of the Dnepr River, and then motor to Archangelsk/Astrakhan. The fact that the Red Army was not located west of the Dnepr River, that they had no idea how big the Red Army was, nor what reserves they could raise, and had virtually no reserves of their own after the first month of the campaign, says all that has to be said about their 'professionalism'.

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                    • #11
                      Yes and no. It rather refers to Russia as a country not as a people.
                      Wisdom is personal

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                      • #12
                        There is a recent trend in RF information politics, to display Great Patriotic War victory as solely a Russian (Российская) victory. That it was the Russian people (русский народ) who suffered the most, most soldiers were russian, all major weapon factories were located in Ural and so on.

                        On the other hand, governments of CIS countries readily (or at least quietly) accept this.

                        Ukrainians and Baltics treat their SS veterans with great honor, while soviet vets are forgotten and abandoned. The only exception is Belorus, where war is still remembered.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sharposhnikov View Post
                          I am a little bit rabid on this point. Whenever I open a new book that presents itself as a military history of the War in the East and they refer to the 'Russian Army', I close the book: that tells me that the author has no idea WTF he's talking about, unless it's a wartime German memoir, where I don't expect the author to know or have learned much about his opponents.
                          Agreed. Life is too short to put up with crap meant to be read in the doctor's office. The USSR was a multi-cultural society, and while some animals were more equal than others, everyone was included within the context of their national identity. There were 25 official languages in the USSR, all of them printed on their banknotes.

                          In western mythology, "Russia" is equivalent to the Soviet Union because the USSR was formed from the ruins of Tsarist Russia and incorporated its territory. Russians, per se, were the dominant tribe in that empire, expanding their control over other tribes between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries.

                          The Soviet Union was something different, an alternative that most people bought into. There were Russians, and for the most part they still held the keys, but everyone else was included and everyone had a chance, different from the old days.

                          When war came, it was simply Us against Them. The Red Army, like the USSR, included everyone. It didn't matter if you spoke Russian with an accent, and many did.

                          It is the Red Army, not the 'Russian Army'. It was the Soviet Union, or the USSR, not 'Russia'. Using those labels is the mark of a high school student, not an historian, and a hint to put whatever it is you are reading down.

                          Regards all
                          Scott Fraser
                          Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                          A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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